Investors include Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures, and famed entrepreneur Shazi Visram.
Leila Strickland & Michelle Egger (Photo: Nick Verrochi)
DURHAM, NC — BIOMILQ, a women-owned, science-led, and parent-centered infant nutrition company producing cultured breastmilk, today announced it has raised $3.5 million in funding. The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a $1 billion+ fund established by some of the world’s top business leaders in support of innovative technologies that help address climate change. Shazi Visram, a leader in the infant nutrition space, and founder of Happy Family Brands and healthynest, also participated in the round.
BIOMILQ is enabling the next generation to thrive by producing cultured breastmilk that offers supplemental nutrition to mother’s milk with the practicality of formula. The company was co-founded by Leila Strickland PhD, a mother-of-two and accomplished cell biologist, and Michelle Egger MBA, an experienced food scientist and avid social entrepreneur.
Breastmilk contains thousands of unique molecules blended in perfect proportion to nourish an infant through some of the most crucial stages of growth. The evidence is clear: breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure healthy development in children. However, the reality is that breastfeeding, let alone exclusive breastfeeding, isn’t always possible. In fact, over 4 out of 5 moms in the US transition to dairy-based infant formula before the recommended six-month breastfeeding period ends.
Whether it’s low milk production, medical challenges, incompatible workplaces, or the ongoing stigma around breastfeeding in public, mothers often feed infant formula out of necessity rather than preference. Parents and caregivers are left with nutritionally suboptimal, mostly dairy-based options. BIOMILQ is developing a new choice for infant nutrition that lessens the trade-off between babies’ nutrition, mothers’ wellbeing, and the future of our environment.
“The BIOMILQ team is thrilled to be supported by such inspirational and mission-aligned investors who understand the needs of parents and the planet” said Michelle Egger, co-founder and CEO of BIOMILQ. “While there is no replacement for breastmilk, we believe we can harness the power of science, technology, and nature to deliver comprehensive and sustainable infant nutrition.”
With funding, BIOMILQ is optimizing its production, expanding its team, and engaging its stakeholders: families, pediatricians, and the breastfeeding community, to bring the best cultured breastmilk product to market.
“We believe parents, caregivers, and infants deserve more options in early-stage nutrition,” said Leila Strickland, co-founder and CSO of BIOMILQ. “We’re determined to give them just that and to create a better world for future generations.”
“There are immense opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock used in the production of foods like dairy, and BIOMILQ offers a superb dairy alternative for the production of infant nutrition,” said Carmichael Roberts, Breakthrough Energy Ventures. “The company has created a first-of-its-kind product that not only offers a better solution for the environment but will also improve nutrition for infants around the globe.”
BIOMILQ is currently hiring a number of roles in Durham, North Carolina. If you’re interested in learning more please visit their careers page.